Jazz Previews: Saturday, November 4th – Friday, November 10th

You may not think you like free jazz, but when you hear it live, with a group like the Instant Composer’s Pool, you get it

Drummer Han Bennink is presenting his madcap children’s show at the NCH on Saturday

Saturday 4

Bim Bam Bennink

NCH, Dublin, 1pm, €8 per child (free for one accompanying adult), improvisedmusic.ie

Children are an oft-ignored audience for art music, which just leaves them prey to the bland, smoothed-out pap of talent contests and teeny boppers. Here's the antidote – the legendary Instant Composers Pool is in Ireland this week (see below) and, as part of his mission to unstuff ears, founder and drummer Han Bennink is presenting his madcap children's show. First presented to great acclaim at the legendary Bimhuis in Amsterdam, it's an eye-widener and an ear-opener for children aged 6-11, though why there should be any age limit on having fun and learning about improvisation is a question for another day.

Cormac Larkin

Instant Composer’s Pool


Sugar Club, Dublin, 7.30pm, €22, improvisedmusic.ie

Also Sunday: Triskel, Cork, 8pm, €20/18, triskelartscentre.ie

Founded in the late 1960s in Amsterdam, the Instant Composers Pool is the ground zero of European free jazz, a still-revolutionary collective of musicians dedicated to the spontaneous creation of music. Notions like genre or style evaporate in the face of a joyous, often hilarious cacophony of ragtime, be-bop and beyond. Founder, drummer and mischief-maker-in-chief Han Bennink (see above) is still at the helm, still banging on anything within reach, and still inspiring his fellow instant composers to abandon their dignity and explore the liberation of free improv. You may not think you like free jazz, and certainly recordings of the same can furrow even the highest brow, but when you hear it live, when you get in a room with a group like the ICP, you get it. Includes a screening at 8pm of Misha and so on, a documentary about ICP co-founder, the late pianist Misha Mengelberg; band on stage 9.40pm.


Scott Flanigan’s Hammond Organisation

Arthurs, Dublin, 9pm, €10, arthurspub.ie

Belfast keyboard player Scott Flanigan is equally happy – and equally impressive – playing an acoustic piano or a Hammond organ, but since he is one of the only players of the latter instrument on the island, certainly in a jazz context, it is his organ that is getting all the gigs. Flanigan has answered the call from Van Morrison, Jean Toussaint and many others over the past couple of years, but here's a chance to hear him leading his own group, exploring the classic organ trio repertoire with Dublin guitarist John Moriarty and Spanish drummer Gonzalo Del Val. CL

Thursday 9

The Workshop

Arthurs, Dublin, 9pm, €10, arthurspub.ie

A jazz composition doesn't really exist until it's being played. The Workshop is five of the most adventurous and dynamic players and composers on the Dublin scene, peers and frequent collaborators, coming together to workshop each other's compositions. Trumpeter Bill Blackmore, saxophonist Chris Engel, pianist Darragh O'Kelly, bassist Cormac O'Brien and drummer Matthew Jacobson are all kept busy playing other people's music, but this loose-limbed quintet is an opportunity for them to explore their own collective Venn diagram. CL